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where more than 30,000 men, women and children have been massacred by assad regime over the past 20 months. violent extremists are flowing into the fight. our ally turkey has been attacked and the conflict threatens stability in the region. america can take pride in the blows that our military and intelligence professionals have inflicted on al qaeda in pakistan and afghanistan including the kill of usama bin laden. these are real achievements won at a high cost. al qaeda remains a strong force however in yemen and somalia, in libya, and other parts of north africa, in iraq and now in syria and other extremists have gained ground across the region. drones and modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight but they are no substitute for a national security strategy for the middle east. the president is fond of saying that the tide of war is receding and i want to believe him as much as anyone else but when we look at the middle east today, with iran closer than ever to nuclear weapons capability, with the conflict in syria threatening to destablize the region and with vio
to be syrian army officers and assad regime security forces. leland vittert is live in our middle east bureau with the latest. leland? >> reporter: gregg, this really shows how sophisticated these attacks are becoming. these bombings were sophisticated on number of levels, happening within minutes of each other, well-coordinated. not only that, the bombers were able to get in a very secure part of aleppo near the syrian headquarters. lastly the bombs themselves were well-made and clearly devastating in their effect. images coming from syrian state tv shows the same kind of damage to full blocks of aleppo in the government controlled areas. same kind of damage we're seeing in the rebel controlled areas coming from those deadly attacks with certainian -- syrian artillery. this points much more to jihadist movements rather than homegrown rebel fighters, fighters coming out of places like libya and iraq with expertise and also al qaeda linkage what we're seeing here in syria. this fits much more with the syrian government narrative going forward which complicates, things, gregg. you know it used
of the jihadist video. another interesting point is the video was brought to life by a pro assad web site. meaning someone supporting the syrian regime which would fall into the syrian's regime of islamic militants trying to take over what is going on in syria. right now the big question is austin tice being held by the syrian regime or the syrian regime trying to make it look like islamists. martha: what about the latest situation on the ground in syria? >> reporter: it still continues to deteriorate. the syrian regime is holding on well'. the battles from street to street. fighting continues in syria. russia is standing fast behind their ally. they have warned the united states, turkey and the other nato allies they will not allow the kind of humanitarian corridors or no-fly zone or any type of intervention the way things began in libya. the other thing we learned is a number of the fighters inside syria are not necessarily syrians fighting for their freedom. but foreign fighters. hezbollah confirmed one of their leaders and several of their men have been killed inside of syria doing quote their
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